New Orleans 10 Years Later

Reflecting back on the natural disaster that profoundly changed the GEOINT Community


Aug. 29, 2015, marked 10 years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast. These DigitalGlobe images of New Orleans’ 17th Street levee from before the hurricane, immediately afterward, and present day illustrate how the city was forever altered when the Category 5 storm breached its shores. The natural disaster profoundly changed the GEOINT Community as well, as it was a turning point in public awareness about the civil utility of geospatial intelligence, particularly in times of crisis.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency played an important role in the Katrina response effort by visualizing the locations of key infrastructure, providing the first clear satellite image of downtown New Orleans, developing the first comprehensive overview of the damage, and more. In 2015, the community continued its legacy of contributing to disaster response by providing essential imagery and data for relief efforts following the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the Nepal earthquakes.

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